Windshield Replacement

All you need to know about Windshield Replacement

You drive a car on a regular basis, chances are good that sooner or later you'll find yourself dealing with a damaged windshield. This may be true even if you don't often drive and you have your car parked outside during a hail storm. For obvious reasons, windshields are more prone to damage than any other glass on your car: they're exposed to flying debris on the road, put to the test by changing temperatures and exposure to sun, wind, and hail, and often take a lot of impacts when your car is involved in an accident. Because they're designed to protect the driver, windshields need to be kept in good condition. Damage to your windshield glass can range in severity, from minor nicks and scratches to large cracks and shattered bullseyes. Damaged windshields can be dangerous - they can impede the vision of the driver and are more prone to shattering under pressure. You're looking to sell or trade in your car a damaged windshield can also lower the value.

The question you'll have to ask yourself when your windshield is damaged is whether the problem is small enough that it can be repaired, or large enough that your entire windshield needs to be replaced. Making this decision will depend on the condition of your windshield, as well as your budget. Here are some simple tips to consider if you're wondering whether your windshield requires replacement.

Your windshield needs replacement if:

It has multiple chips

Rock chips - yes, those nasty little chunks or nicks taken out of your windshield by rocks or debris hitting the glass - can, believe it or not, warrant a full windshield replacement. Most people don't worry about chips too much since they're often fairly small, but they can lead to trouble. Windshield chip repair is a cheap and easy fix, however, if your windshield has three or more rock chips on it, it's probably time to consider a replacement.

First of all, the cost of repairing each of those chips separately will add up, so that replacing the windshield altogether might be more cost-effective, depending on the type of car you have. Secondly, each of those separate chipped spots creates a weakness in the windshield, and the more of them you have, the more prone the windshield will be to developing large cracks and overall weakness that could come back to haunt you later. Particularly in hot climates, the expansion the glass undergoes when the sun hits it will wreak havoc on those chipped spots, and this could lead to a larger problem very quickly. Hot days can turn a small chip into 6 foot crack in a matter of a couple hours.

Your windshield has damage that impairs your line of sight

If you have a chip or a crack in your windshield that is in the driver's line of sight and impairs vision while driving, you should replace the windshield immediately. This isn't a time to fuss around with attempting a windshield repair, not even if the crack or chip seems fairly minimal. If it's impeding your vision while you drive, then it's exceedingly dangerous, and could put you at fault according to the insurance companies should an accident occur.

Driving with your windshield in this condition is also an invitation to get a "fix it ticket" from law enforcement, and it can even keep your car from passing state safety inspections. A repair might be possible depending on the severity of the chip or crack, but a repair won't always eliminate the visible damage and can leave a spot that's just as distracting as the original damage.

Your windshield has a large crack or one that extends to the edge of the glass

Windshield cracks are, simply enough, damage to the exterior layer of your laminated glass windshield. While they're often caused by blunt impact, just like chips and nicks, cracks can also be the result of a faulty piece of glass or improper windshield installation. Auto glass specialists typically categorize cracks in one of two ways: as cracks or as "long cracks." Long cracks are any that are over 6 inches in length, and those are typically difficult to repair, will take longer, and will cost a lot more than other types of windshield repair.

Any crack that extends to the edge of the glass, regardless of how long it is, will require replacement of the windshield. The damage that doesn't start and end within the glass itself is nearly impossible to contain and will almost always grow larger, so attempting to repair it is typically a waste of time and money, and you should plan on simply replacing the windshield to save yourself a lot of hassle later. Windshield cracks are, simply enough, damage to the exterior layer of your laminated glass windshield. While they're often caused by blunt impact, just like chips and nicks, cracks can also be the result of a faulty piece of glass or improper windshield installation.

Windshield Crack Types

Windshield Replacement Cost

In most cases, the front windshield replacement cost can be expensive, but this is one repair job that you cannot avoid. Next, to the seatbelts and airbags, the windshield is viewed as the third most important component for safety. The front windshield will be important for other things than just to keep the wind, road debris, and bugs from hitting your face when you are driving. It will also serve as an important safety device if rollover accidents.

There are different kinds of glass such as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), aftermarket glass, and the factory recommended glass for replacement. The OEM glass will be installed at the manufacturing plant under the ideal environmental conditions. The factory recommended glass has similar specifications to the OEM, so it’s the next best option when want to spend less for windshield replacement cost. The aftermarket glass generally will not satisfy the recommended specifications, so it’s not a safe option. Insurance providers will not pay for aftermarket glass to be installed on any car.

Cost depends more on the car itself than the company installing the new glass. With every windshield replacement job having a unique price depending on the year, make, model, and company it's impossible to say what your replacement will cost with exactitude. Instead let's look at some general pricing so that we can, at least, give the majority of people idea.

Common Cars (older than 3 years): $180-$230 Chevy/Ford/Dodge Trucks, most domestic cars, & most economy cars

Common Cars (new) & Unique Cars (older than 3 years):$230-$450 Scion, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Hummer, Audi, Infiniti, Buick, Cadillac, & Lincoln

Unique Cars (new) & Luxury/Rare Cars: $450 & Up Mercedes, Land Rover, Lotus, Lexus, Audi, BMW, Corvette, Viper, Bentley, Maybach, Porsche, Acura, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Alpha Romero, and the list goes on...

Cost for replacement includes the glass, cleaning, adhesive and installation labor. Poor decisions regarding the quality of glass, adhesive, or conducting the process hurriedly can be quite costly and counterproductive.

Additional Costs for Windshield Replacement

Certain cars require that the windshield is installed using special rubber moldings. This additional cost affects the replacement estimate.

For windshields with wipers attached to them, replacing the windshield means that the blades and wipers also have to be replaced. Therefore, this additional cost will reflect on your estimate.

Does Car Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?

In case you have a comprehensive insurance; the windshield replacement cost will be reimbursed (However, different insurance companies will have different policies on glad coverage. Some insurers charge a deductible while others do not).

Generally, all the insurance companies have the insurance cover for the windshield replacement or repair (USAA, Progressive, GEICO, Nationwide, State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, MetLife). The coverage is different for both. The deductible has to pay and then the company pays for the entire replacement. It is just a repair then the insurance company waives off the deductible and pays for the entire repair. This arrangement one saves money.

Windshield Replacement coverage is often an optional coverage on your car insurance that is not expensive. If your car insurance company provides coverage for Windshield Replacement as an option and you do not have comprehensive insurance, you should strongly consider purchasing that coverage. It might be only a couple of dollars a year to add the coverage to your car insurance policy. It might also be something that is already included in your policy as part of a package plan.

The best way to find out if your car insurance policy covers Windshield Replacement is to call your insurance agent or company directly. It is always a good idea to go over all of your insurance policies every year or so to make sure that you have all the coverages that you need and to make sure that you have all the discounts that you qualify for. Windshield Replacement is a coverage that can save you a good amount of money if you are in a situation where your windshield needs to be fixed or replaced.

Things to Consider for Windshield Replacement

If you are up for a car windshield replacement, there are things you need to consider to be sure that it is installed properly to avoid accident or injury.

  • If you are up for a car windshield replacement, there are things you need to consider to be sure that it is installed properly to avoid accident or injury. 1First, look for a reputable auto repair shop with trained and certified technicians. Note that you have the right to choose your shop when claiming insurance, so there’s no need for you to limit yourself to shops recommended by your car insurance company.
  • Make sure you do your homework well and do not settle for the first windshield replacement that you find. Do a thorough research, find what options you have available and do a short list with the contractors that best cater to your needs and you can feasibly work with. The internet can greatly help you with your research. You can always call these companies to get more information about their services and their background over the phone.
  • Looking at the past work of a certain company is a great way to decide whether their services are suitable for your needs and preferences or not. Most of the time windshield replacement has this kind of information on their websites where you can read reviews provided by their previous customers. Satisfied clients will always find time to recommend the services they benefited from to other people, so it should not be too difficult to find a few good references on the internet.
  • Before you get your windshield replaced, you should determine how best or safe it is to get your car to the repair shop. In some cases, if the windshield is far too damaged to drive safely, it’s recommended that you call a mobile windshield repair company.
  • All manufacturers of windshields are required to adhere to motor vehicle safety standards issued by relevant authorities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
  • Take note of the quality of your windshield. You should always ask for parts from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) rather than the aftermarket glass, though there are aftermarket windshields that are less expensive.
  • Next, be sure to observe the process. The technician should not scratch the metal framework when cutting out the old glass. He must wear rubber gloves to avoid getting the oil on the glass.
  • You should also do their best and inspect the windshield before leaving for water or air leeks however this can be difficult to ascertain.
  • Even after the installation has been completed, it’s not yet time to go. You must not move your car for a specified period so as not to compromise the seal to avoid air and water leaks in the future. Urethane manufacturers provide guidelines on time, temperature and humidity factors called “safe drive-away time.” Be sure to read up on that
  • The auto glass shop should include a guarantee or warranty. If you note any air or water leaks around the windshield, you should demand it to be reinstalled.

Your life is worth far more than the dollars you have to spend on a car windshield replacement, so it is better to be safe than sorry. And if you know the things to have to take note of, car windshield replacement need not be stressful.

How to find the Best Price on a Windshield Replacement

Windshield replacement could drain your wallet if you are not careful. Just like any other car part repair or replacement, a consumer may need to exercise caution to be able to find the most affordable car repair shop.

1. Contact your dealership. Your car may have a specialty garage or shop where you can only find genuine car parts. It may depend on the make and model of the car but usually, luxury cars and vintage cars may need to be repaired by a certified repair shop. Your dealership may present you with two or more repair shops in your area so be sure to compare the rates, services, and the features of their service before you pick the shop you like.

2. Your car insurance policy may cover windshield repair costs. If it does then you may never need to pay or may only pay a small portion of the damages and replacement part. Check your insurance premium coverage before it is too late. Be sure that you have windshield repair or replacement included in your premium payments. You may need to pay extra but utmost peace of mind is priceless.

3. If you plan to have your windshield repaired in a local garage or car repair shop then you should also scout for the best price. Be sure to look for three to four companies and set their features, price, and their guarantees and warranties for their service. By comparing rates, you can save on repairs and replacements plus you will also be getting a better warranty service to protect your car better.

4. If you are insistent on getting the best replacement cost average for car repairs especially windshield replacement, use free quotes services. Quotes services may be found in most service sites where you place your inquiry or information on their service. You will be asked several questions about your car and about the service that you are inquiring about. Usually, it takes a few hours for quote services to reply, usually by email or you may also be able to get an instant answer when you talk to an experienced customer care representative. By getting around three to four quotes you will also be able to get the windshield replacement cost average for your type of car.

5. By word of mouth, you can look for a suitable garage or car windshield replacement. If a windshield replacement shop offers high-quality services then you are sure that it will be recommended to other consumers through word of mouth. Ask your friends, family members and co-workers for the best shops to check out where you are located or in a city near you.

6. There are some discounts available to help with a windshield replacement cost. Some independent companies offer coupons and discounts which can also help to bring down your windshield replacement cost. These can be found in the local paper or on the companies website. Payment plans may be at the digression on the company and the owner.

A Simple Guide to Windshield Replacement by Yourself

It is really advisable to replace immediately a windshield that is cracked or broken when repairing it can’t make it last for long. But before performing a do-it-yourself windshield replacement, it is much better to ask for a few expert advice about your car and the windshield it has.

As you probably know, there are 2 ways that your windshield glass can be attached to your car. The first one is that it can be sealed into the frame underneath its outer trim and the second one is that, it can be placed with a rubber gasket.

Asking advice and opinions about the replacement is one of the basic tasks you must always perform and remember before doing the replacement yourself.

Preparation Stage

At this stage, all objects that are near or attached to the windshield glass must be removed before performing the replacement. Objects including the rearview mirror and wipers are subject for removal. After the replacement is done, the wiper and rear view mirror will be placed and attach again for usage.

For Windshield Glass With Sealant

  1. You will be needing to remove the outer trim surrounding your glass. A special tool for this kind of task is required. Ask a local auto shop if they can have you rent or borrow this kind of special tool for you to perform this task.
  2. When you already have the tool, insert the forked end of it under the trim and disengage the clips underneath. Do this in a careful manner so that you can use them again.
  3. After removing the trim, cut or remove the seal attaching it to the glass. A special tool is needed for this task as well. This special tool is designed to carefully remove the sealant without breaking more the glass.
  4. To completely remove the glass, either pull it out, while you are outside, with a suction cup or push it with the foot with the help of a large stick while inside the car. Don’t kick it, just push it so it won’t break.
  5. When removed, you can now scrape down anymore visible sealant with a chisel and sand down any rust visible at the frame.
  6. Now, attach the outer trim to the new glass using the clips.
  7. Apply a new sealant in a triangular or v pattern to the windshield frame. Lower the glass onto the frame carefully to make sure it is properly centered in the frame.

Note and Tip: The sealant you applied will take a whole day or so before it becomes tough and hardened. While waiting it to harden, you can tape down the glass with strong masking tape for the much-desired outcome or finish product.

For Windshield Glass With Gasket

  1. First and foremost, check out if the gasket is not dry or hardened. If it's not, then its good to be reused again. But if it is already hardened, then cut that away with a carpet knife.
  2. Make sure that you won’t be hitting the glass when you started to use the blade. Carefully cut along the circumference of the windshield glass.
  3. After the above steps, you can now easily remove the windshield glass by pushing it with your foot with the help of a large stick while inside the care. Always ask someone to assist you when doing this so somebody can catch the glass from the outside of your car.
  4. Clean any visible rust, debris or foreign materials from the glass frame. After that, you may now apply a sealant to the inner edge of the gasket.
  5. Attach the gasket onto the new glass. If it is a new gasket, place it under the sun or anywhere where heat is felt, for the gasket to soften.
  6. Apply lubricating jelly or petrolube to the outer edge of your gasket and run a nylon rope around that edge, making the rope ends meet at the bottom.
  7. With the help of your assistant, ask him or her to place the glass onto the frame and have it presses on the gasket. While you, inside the car, you grab the rope ends and pull them. This will enable you to pull the gasket’s inner lip inside the car making the replacement finish and done.
Nicole Cain